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tv   [untitled]    October 1, 2012 11:30am-12:00pm PDT

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beautiful city, and it's the open space that makes the city very, very beautiful, and we also are federally recognized for sanctuary of rare birds that migrate along the coast. there are about 500,000 and when thinking about growth we need to think about the animals and the environment and the ecology as well. >> all right. mr. lagos. >> yes. one of the reasons i moved to san francisco 35 years ago was because there was not a large population here. i moved from los angeles and it's grown 50,000 people in those years. i don't want to see it grow further per se and i'm not a fan of developing more housing but to answer the question if we add more housing i would say loosen
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up the rules to allow homeowners to create inlaw apartments and that way you open up unit availability at some level for additional housing. other than that i would be opposed to any new construction of any major land use of development for housing including the three major projects in the pipeline. >> mr. rogers. >> if there is going to be development it could be in the trans bays terminal that is truly close to rapid transit. walking distance to bart. walking distance to the train that heads down south. this would be an ideal place for a development to occur. a place like park merced where you have 17,000 people would be moving in there. 6,000 parking stalls, a
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car dependent project, right next to 19th avenue. you folks know how bad that is. how would it be better if we had more people living in park merced? i don't think so. so in my opinion growth should really be stopped. that was what the voters wanted in the 1980's when they voted for proposition m. thank you. >> if i do remember about 30-40 years ago san francisco was approaching a million i think in population. might have gone over but it was close so i know that we can handle it and i am very strong supporter of the park merced project which ties into how we can increase our tax base income. you turn around and create opportunity. the government cannot create opportunity. the development will create opportunities which will bring employment in. it
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will bring businesses in and it will turn around and increase our tax base and it has to come from the private sector and i believe the project is a very good project and i support it. >> thank you sir. mr. yee. >> here are my two criterias when it comes to housing. i believe in reasonable growth and i believe in healthy robust community process, so here we are. we just developed something in our district on ocean avenue and we had a healthy discussion around the avalon development. broke ground. no protests. people agreed on it. felix circle we had a healthy discussion and we will have additional housing
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there too. i was just up on crest mount drive. there is controversy over there whether this is reasonable or not and i don't think the developer who is have presented the project is reasonable, but the neighbors in seem to be reasonable because they weren't saying "don't build anything". they said "let's scale down the development somewhat" so i support those notions of reasonable growth, community process and i do support proposition c for affordable housing funds. >> thank you sir. >> well, there is some room for increased density but let's face it. this is a finite 49 square miles and that defines san francisco. i am not anti-development by any means but it needs to be done right wherever it's done in conjunction with transportation, water, sewer, electrical
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infrastructure. transportation is so important when talking about projects like park merced or others. if you talk about building a project anywhere and look at the eir process or elements that have to do with transportation and just rely on muni and near a station or track. we just can't put it off like that and we have one element -- excuse me, probably going to work. no. so it means doing it right in conjunction with all of the existing infrastructure including muni. >> all right. mr. crowley. >> thank you cheryl. we are blessed. we are land locked but i believe in this case we need to have balance. we have a housing trust before us this november they believe needs to be replacing the redevelopment agency which has indexes for salaries of folks that can benefit from an affordable housing policy. i would also say that most homes and
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apartments and condo conversions need to be near transportation and retail wraps. we have things up in hunter's point and treasure island coming on point and with that i hope park merced gets built but not without tenant protections and that's what i suggest. >> thank you. i want to remind you we're taking questions from the audience so if we have more questions is a good time to collect those. looks like everybody dealt with the park merced issue so our next question is how would you solve the homelessness problem in san francisco? and we will start with mr. garcia. >> my god, what an easy question. of course we're not going to solve it. the best we can do is try to minimize it and i think we are on the right track and we have a new
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homeless czar in pl dusty and i like the deal he's dealing with it and a way of dealing with chronic alcoholics and the protections that we have for homeless people are to protect society and not from the homeless people but to deal with that. it's 51-50 and i am sure some people know what that is and the police has the power to hold someone who is a threat to themselves or someone else for 72 hours. we need to enact laura's law and mr. dufty is working on that and finding housing for these individuals but not to keep going back to the economy but one solution is improve the economy so we can improve these people's lives. thank you. >> thank you. >> l the homeless problem it's very, very interesting because
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you know some cities don't -- i think one of the reasons we do have a problem is because of the wonderful social services that we have here in this city and unfortunately as someone who has sat on several committees it's disheartening that just across the east bay, even if you go to oakland, it changes drastically and i think it's one of the reasons people come to san francisco. do they all live here? absolutely not. and i think we have to get tough with this issue and the housing authority truly needs some restructuring, so that they can do their mandate which is to house people because that's another issue, but there is money missing there, so i think we have to be tough with that and it's like tough love but because we do care and it's going have to be dealt with. thank you. >> thank you. >> yes. well, homelessness has
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been a major problem for many years, ever since i came to san francisco we've had homelessness and it's gotten worse, and so i believe that local government hasn't done enough for the homeless, and as i stated in an earlier answer i believe that money for the homeless should come from downtown corporations through the war profit tax and provide housing for the homeless. we have a cacantacy rate here that is high and park merced where it's high and i believe those units should be used to house homeless people with the revenue generates from the war profits tax so that's what i would propose in dealing with the homeless issue. >> all right. thank you sir. mr. rogers. >> you know sadly the 50% of
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the homeless are actually vietnam veterans and so this makes homelessness really a national embarrassment. in the past they had post traumatic stress disorder was claimed to be -- the people had it before they were in war, before they went through a terribly difficult time and they did not provide the people any money. fortunately with the obama administration this has changed and these people are coming back and being able to be given some money, so on the federal level i think there's some improvement. when it comes to san francisco i think we need to do more, and i would research this further and answer that question later. thank you. >> all right thank you sir. >> i am under the assumption i'm a problem solver. first you have to identify the problem and
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i would lump this into three groups. you have people who do not want to be helpedda that want to be live on the street. you have people that don't know where the help is and people people that want it and we need to identify the people that want to be helped that can be helped and there are certain people no matter what you do they do not want help. they want to live on the streets and that in turn we should enforce the laws on the books, and that is the only way i believe you can solve the problem. it's not about money. it's about identifying the problem and i believe you've got to identify who the homeless people are first before you can solve it. >> all right thank you sir. mr. yee. >> he is absolutely right. there are different categories of homeless individuals and families. i spent 20 years
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running an organization which we had programs in the tender loin and we actually served a lot of homeless families and many of the families what do they want? a home for the kids. they want jobs and child care. those are the things we're talking about and justifying the needs. there are many others but not the vast majority. the vast majority of the people that want to get out of the homelessness. there is a small percentage of people that were veterans which is true but what happened we got rid of mental health services and that's what happened. once we started getting rid of mental health services we saw increase of people on the street that seemed to need a lot more help. >> thank you. >> there is a wide range, a wide spectrum of the reasons people end up on the street to
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schizophrenia individuals to destiewt individuals and peel who are optunistic about it and have hotels or other parts of the bay area and all of them need to be dealt with compassionately with resources, with outreach, but i don't think we need -- you know the department of public health is quite familiar with these reasons that people are out on the streets and we have great programs like project homeless connect. i was proud to do outreach with that organization, but whether it is people who need service because they are very, very sick for whatever reason, all the way down to people who do need to be moved along by people on the street and law enforcement and programs and not giving handouts and
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looking at it compassionately and with resources and outreach. >> thank you very much. >> this is a very serious problem. one in four visitors to san francisco cites homelessness as a reason not to come back. we have a new program in november with judge katherine fine stein will put in warrants and citations that are by the ones that use most of the services and that is a good beginning. and one other program that was under gavin newsom and we had the issue of surrounding jurisdictions and sending their downtrodden to san francisco. we spend millions of dollars for police and fire services here in san francisco for the same persons. we have the emergency homeless and homeless connects and homeless
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bound so we spend 694 annually on this and i hope we have more services and compassionate for the folks that are downtrodden. >> i think people would love if san francisco could look like new york city does now and landscape but we don't have the political will to do that and we need to do second best and focus on two things. one, many of the homeless have mental illness issues and we need to make sure they get their meds and support laura's law and show compassion but if people are a threat to themselves and others they need to take the meds and second it's us. we in society cannot be enablers and come to san francisco and we are well intentioned and we will solve all of the problems and we
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can't broke with our resources and these are issues in all of society and we need to take care of our residents first. >> all right. thank you all. our next question, how would you make the streets safer for pedestrian especially on 19th avenue. ms. gavin, let's begin with you. >> well, that's a very interesting questions because 19th avenue i think is highway one and it's owned by cal trans and unfortunately there have been some horrific accidents there. i think that -- one of the things i am aware of even in the downtown area -- it's interesting when you go by the mos coney center there are signals to tell pedestrian when is to walk and not to walk but if you go to fourth and mission or fourth and market you don't have those same signals so people are just always walking. i also think -- i know it's not
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popular. i think we should cite jay walkers. they do in los angeles and i got a ticket 20 years ago and never did it again and i think we need to make the pedestrians aware of the rules and they must respect traffic as well and there needs to be outreach there. >> mr. lagos. >> yes, this is a very interesting question and it affects everybody, and i come from a city originally where the cars are king, los angeles, and one of the reasons i came here because the car isn't king here, but for pedestrians it is a problem, and i support reducing automobile traffic in certain parts of san francisco because i think there are parts of san francisco dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists and i would support any proposal to
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reduce traffic and those zones in san francisco that have been shown to be dangerous for pedestrians. >> all right. thank you sir. mr. rogers. >> i hope this doesn't seem like a continual drum beat but if they make the park merced project go forward there is going to be a lot more traffic on 19th avenue. with that said i know the cameras are slowing people from going across the yellow lights into the red lights and i think the more they put those up the more -- i think the people that drive will be careful, but really if you want to stop the traffic in park merced you just have to stop the park merced development. >> all right. thank you. >> i have a personal story about 19th avenue. i live right across the street. i know 19th avenue. i acrossed it in 65
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years a million times. my father was killed nearby and i know what it's like. my father was 79 years old and he was hit so i do know. the problem is not the cars. it's just i believe if we got with the san francisco police department as well as the san francisco state police department enforce the laws that we do have you would alleviate a lot of the problems. enforce the jay walking rule. enforce the traffic light rules. enforce the laws that we already have in existence. 19th avenue is the most traveled block or street in the city, so enforce the laws that we have on the books. >> all right. thank you sir. mr. yee. >> i also have a similar personal attitude about
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pedestrian safety. maybe some of you remember six years ago in the niewmp newspaper for several days i got hit by a car crossing the street and crushed my neck and was in the hospital and almost died so this issue is near and dear to me, so the 19th avenue is a unique situation. unfortunately it's controlled by caltrans i think, but here are three things we suggest that we do if we had control over it. number one, increase the yellow light to one or two seconds that would help a lot and versus when they cross the street and running the red light. number two, this might not be as popular but i would fight like crazy to get the over pass pedestrians to go over than rather than going through the traffic, and number three i agree we need to enforce the existing laws for traffic. >> all right. thank you.
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>> 19th avenue is indeed a state route that means real coordination between the city and caltrans. supervisor else berd appointed me to that committee years ago and i am pleaded -- i am a map person and geeing on grapher and i think what is important to focus this geographically and looked at schools and community centers and senior centers and what is worse -- the worse areas? and focusing on those i know 19th avenue needs the flashing hands and lots of improvement in the lighting and the timing of the lighting and seeing where the
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worse areas are. >> thank you. this problem will not go away literally because the traffic patterns from san jose up to including marin county. we have the 19th avenue hallway and win son and judith and irving. it's controlled by caltrans. i think we need to reduce speeds. i think we need to put in the disability lights that time folks with noises and i also think that we need to move bike lane traffics off to other blocks and that would be one solution but not a total solution. >> every morning i put my life in the drivers' hand. i run to the ocean and cross 19th avenue and turn the the ipod off and i look and walk and it's human
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nature we're talking about. the cars are going to come. we need to educate people that the law is pedestrian is king it's meaningless when the car hits and you it's about awareness and also if i can take the rest of the time to think big. instead of building tunnels to no where and billions of dollars and tunnel down 19th avenue and geary and provide real transportation and get people where they need to go. >> mr. garcia. >> there was a comedian on johnny carson and she said the people go to school and said watch the lights and it's the cars. the lights didn't kill anybody and i watch horrified and the kids are texting and otherwise not paying attention and they walk into the street because they have the right-of-way. we have to
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educate them. it's difficult and when you go left or right and the time is up and your time to turn is up so we have that problem. on slope it's terrible watching the kids trying to cross the street and it's a dangerous street and narrowed it and we need to do more and the lighted cross walks and someone is in the cross walk and if you're in the right lane you see them stop and not sure why. >> all right. next question. on the subject of transportation. two part question. how would improve muni's on time performance and support students. >> yeah. i am one of the few muni riders regularly and muni's on time performance is
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atrocious and i believe it only meets the city's goals maybe 60, 70% of the time so to improve the performance you basically have to hold management accountable and in my opinion they're not doing a good job at putting the trains and buses out on time and we have to hold muni management accountable and free muni for children -- is that what you asked? >> for students. >> yeah. i definitely support that and for seniors as well. >> all right. thank you sir. mr. rogers. >> you just recently they purchased 45 new buses and i think -- so maybe that's going to make some difference and the buses will be more on time. let's hope so, but in terms of children i think should be a
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driving on muni for free. i think that would be ideal. not every parent has enough money to give their children bus money and some of the schools -- i remember i had to walk all the way from almainy and brother hood to james denton which was miles. i will tell you and i was tired by the time i got there i didn't even want to go to school. i needed to take a nap. anyway that's my feeling about that. >> all right. thank you. >> i think that's an unrealistic goal anyway and the only one that can predict that is god and my assumption that you can put something on time with as many mechanical break downs and people don't show. it's impossible. i think we should refocus it on safety, getting every person who gets on public transportation to point a to
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point b safety and that is the number one reason i believe we should look at and focus it safety getting everybody from point a to point b. as far as the childrens i am opposed to that. my father back in the early 1900's would take from the fairy building and walk all the way to save 5 cents of the day and at the end of the week he gave his mother 25 cents to buy food, so no, i think free ride is not the right way to go. >> mr. yee. thank you. >> thank you. if i had the solution to solve muni's problem i probably be the governor of california or something. you know but realistically there are things we can do. basically we need to fund muni fully so that we have enough bus drivers to
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drive the buses, the new buss and one of the ways to do this and fully fund it and by fully fund it we will get rid of the over time that we're paying and again when you pay over time you're not getting your money's worth and do i support free muni for youth? absolutely. i want to keep the families in san francisco but this is not the right time to actually fund free muni for all youth. i would support at this point free muni on free and reduced lunches in san francisco. >> thank you. >> it's true muni's on time performance and other elements -- excuse me, of muni are in such bad shape and as someone that takes it often i can tell you it first hand. many of you feel the same way i am sure. what is so bad about muni and how do we stack up against new york and other systems as well?
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is it the electronsics? is it the employees or the trains? i would like to talk to shawn elsbernd and he's worked hard on it, but if it is found -- if there are specific places to target whether technical or in personnel we do need to focus on that. as for free rides for youth i am screechish at the idea of just giving away free rides like that. i would like greatly reduced and families and where they need it but a blanket and children grow up and learn that is just something they should expect i do have a problem with that. i do want to help those in need but that isn't the first way to do it. >> all right. thank you. mr. crowley. >> muni moves more than


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